Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This Stress Pimple Brought to You by...

Okay, so I thought better of actually photographing the pimple, but it's a real mo'fo'. I assure you.  My mother amd my niece and nephew are here. Aaron did manage to find them at the airport on his second try. My anger disapated quickly over the whole wrong day fiasco and we are getting along pretty well. With the kids here to deflect my Deb's emotional vampire powers, I haven't had to vomit once. Of course, the super cool Auntie job has been more challenging than I imagined. My sister's children apparently spend most of their time watching TV, which I guess should come as no surprise to me. It's how I spent most of my summers too.  So, Dayton, Ohio may as well be DisneyLand. Did I mention that they live in Arizona? Spencer is 8 and can't stop talking about the trees and picking leaves off of the trees and asking what the trees are called. I am suddenly aware of how little I know about our local flora. Breanna is 13 (yes, my little sister has a teenage daughter) and she keeps asking me about when her mother was pregnant with her and about how her parents met. My sister was only 16 when Bre was born, so she doesn't have an entire library of journals and scrapbooks documenting the entire process of conception, pregnancy and delivery ( as I do).  And of course, poor Breanna has not one, but two toxic and  dysfunctional grandmothers to deal with.

Deb is attempting to strangle her grandchildren with love. I think she figures if she can deprive them of just enough oxygen to get them sleepy, they will sit still and watch Matlock with her under a blanket on the couch all day long. Violet will have nothing to do with Deb, but Aaron assures me she is only mirroring my own disgust and that nothing can be done about it.  I can't say I mind.  I am rejuvenated as a patient, loving and sensitive parent as I watch my mother attempt to apply constant discipline to Bre and Spencer. If Deb isn't putting food into her mouth she is telling Spencer to be quiet, or still, or turquoise. It is ridiculous. The boy is the most neat, well-behaved (conscious) 8 year old I've ever met. Sure, he raises his voice a little when he exclaims Dude, sweet!,  who doesn't? But, I don't carry around a baggy full of pills like a security blanket. Maybe, Spencer's voice is louder and more irritating on a percoset and wellbutrin cocktail. I'll never know. Right now, I am really enjoying watching my mother quiver with barely contained anxiety as I insist that the kids be allowed to pour their own drinks and make their own sandwiches. When I was eight, Deb didn't even get out of bed to send me to school. I got my own cereal, and counted out my own lunch money from the trinket box on her night stand. This hovering, overcompensating creature she has become is the stuff of nightmares. I am glad my childhood prayers for coddling went unanswered. Whew! Time to get up and start planning today's tour of greater Dayton  playgrounds and Dairy Queens.

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